Netflix has ambitious international plans, Bing prediction sets the dial to creepy, and the future a silicon-based chips is coming to an end. It's a healthy helping of news and rumors on BitStream. Come and get it.
Netflix Wants to Be in Russia By 2017
Despite companies, such as Spotify, currently postponing or abandoning service in Russia over the increasingly dicey Ukrainian conflict, Netflix says it will be in the country by 2017. Why is Russia so prized by streaming websites? Well, right now—no international streaming service has yet to plant a flag in that frozen tundra.
Amazon announced similar plans back in 2013, but so far no further announcements have been made. One historical concern, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is Russia's rampant online piracy led Netflix, and possibly other services, to believe a paid-for service wouldn't go over so well. But Russia last fall said it was working on more stringent anti-piracy laws, which may have dismissed Netflix's previous fears.
Anyways, congratulations Russia! May I recommend House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, and BoJack Horseman. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Microsoft's creepy soothsaying continues
It seems now that every major cultural event will soon be spoiled by data-crunching machines. Much like Microsoft's scary accurate prediction of the Super Bowl and the World Cup, the Bing prediction engine went to work on who be nabbing Oscars over the weekend. Out of 24 winners, Bing only missed four of them, and correctly picked all six of the top Oscar winners. (Yes, Bing thought Birdman should have won, too.)
What makes the achievement stand out from other sports-related predictions is, as Microsoft Research says, there isn't really any statistics to work with and award shows are "relatively unpredictable." But the Bing prediction engine was pretty successful anyways. [The Verge]
- A blazing fast battery charging method may be coming to smartphones by next year. We're talking a full battery in one minute, people. [The Guardian]
- Not content with poaching employees from Tesla, looks like Apple also has eyes on Samsung workers with chip and battery know-how. [9to5Mac]
Your Apps, Updated
- Google is working with companies to integrate work email into its new Inbox app. Please contact Gawker Media, please. [The Verge]
- Sony's Lollipop build leaks, shows a significantly redesigned skin. [TechnoBuffalo]
- YouTube gets kid-friendly, which is as great (and boring) as it sounds.
- Curved TVs aren't going anywhere, and Panasonic is finally throwing its hat into the ring. [Trusted Reviews]
- Intel spills details on its new, brain-explodingly small 10nm process and how chips have finally reached the end of a silicon age. [Ars Technica]
- Microsoft Band gets its first major update with optimization for cycling, an SDK for third party apps, and teeny tiny keyboard.
Bucket of Random
- Want CarPlay or Android Auto in your new Toyota? Think again. [Engadget]
- Fiber optic internet is finally coming to Detroit. [TechCrunch]
- Apple might be making big plays in the electric car business, but a new battery pack company acquisition shows Samsung will also be a player. [Engadget]